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McD's names Lamar to lead U.S. marketing

[oak brook, Ill.] McDonald's Corp. named Bill Lamar to be senior VP-U.S. marketing, its fourth U.S. marketing chief since veteran Paul Schrage announced his retirement in October 1996. Mr. Lamar had been VP-general manager, McDonald's Atlanta region. He succeeds Tom Ryan, who had been U.S. chief marketing officer. Mr. Ryan narrows his focus to menu and concept development. Mr. Lamar, who was contacting top execs at McDonald's roster agencies last week, said it was premature to discuss his plans. Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, is the general market agency and its Del Rivero Messianu DDB, Coral Gables, Fla., handles Hispanic marketing. Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles marketing to kids, and Publicis Groupe's Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, handles African-American marketing.

AOL stock takes hit as SEC investigates

[new york] AOL Time Warner stock sank 6.45% to $10.30 Friday after news reports that the Securities & Exchange Commission had expanded its America Online inquiry to include its dealings with Las Vegas, Nev.-based software company PurchasePro. According to the Washington Post, the SEC is reviewing a transaction in which AOL reportedly paid $9.5 million for PurchasePro stock warrants valued at $30 million and booked the $20.5 million difference as "ad and commerce revenue." PurchasePro was also said to have bought ads on AOL and paid the service commissions for selling software. The Post also reported that Myer Berlow, former president of AOL Time Warner's Global Marketing Solutions Group, had retained an attorney. A call to Mr. Berlow's office at AOL Time Warner, where he remains a consultant, was not returned. AOL declined to comment.

Omnicom shop seeks DiMassimo, Freeman

[fort lauderdale, fla.] Omnicom Group-owned retail specialist agency Zimmerman & Partners is in discussions to acquire DiMassimo Brand Advertising and in advanced contract talks to acquire Cliff Freeman & Partners, both New York, according to executives with knowledge of the talks. Zimmerman, which Ad Age reported had 2001 billings of $702 million, handles Nissan dealerships and is allied with Omnicom sibling TBWA/Chiat/Day. Executives at DiMassimo, Zimmerman and Cliff Freeman declined to comment.

Veronis sees '02 ad spending up 4.8%

[new york] Advertising will close the year up 4.8% over 2001, said media investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson. In its annual Communications Industry Forecast, it said 2002 ad spending will hit $608.5 billion thanks to strong second-half broadcasting results, particularly broadcast TV, which it predicted will rise 4% this year, and cable TV, up 9.5%. Other media forecasts: Local radio, up 3%; national radio, up 4%; newspapers, up 3.2%; magazines, down 3%; and business-to-business publications, down 11.7%.

`Ronald MacDonald' in Jack in the Box ads

[san diego] Jack in the Box uses testimonial ads featuring a real person named Ronald MacDonald in the launch today of a quality improvement program dubbed "Our Best Burgers Ever." Spending was not disclosed. The effort is backed by a new menu, packaging and an ad campaign via Secret Weapon Marketing, Santa Monica, Calif. The No. 4 burger chain will begin selling three combo sizes with larger drink cups and taquitos as part of an increased focus on new product development.

Coors shops for second promo shop

[golden, colo.] Coors Brewing Co. said it is about to open a review for a second promotion agency. The new shop would concentrate on ideas involving the major holidays. Spending was estimated at $15 million. Omnicom's Integer Group, Lakewood, Colo., remains Coors' lead promotion agency and will continue to handle specific brand promotions as well as some of the holiday work and all production.

Saatchi in, Burnett out in Gen'l Mills int'l shift

[new york] General Mills dropped Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett Worldwide and added Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in a shift involving international assignments for Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Betty Crocker, Latina (chilled pasta), Frescarini (chilled pasta) and La Saltena (chilled dough). Combined billings are estimated at $50 million. Saatchi will handle the brands in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Latin and Central America, the Caribbean and South Africa.

Echostar to restart $60 mil media review

[los angeles] Satellite TV marketer Echostar Communications is preparing to relaunch a $60 million media buying and planning review, which had been on hold while it installed a new marketing team. TMP Worldwide, Denver, now handles its broadcast media buying and planning.

FYI . . .

Coca-Cola Ltd. assigned Canadian media buying to Cossette Communications, Toronto, after a review that also involved Bcom3's MediaVest, Aegis Group's Carat and Interpublic's Universal McCann, all Toronto. Spending was not disclosed. Cossette was the incumbent on the Quebec portion of the account. Bcom3's Starcom, Toronto, handled English-speaking Canada but did not participate in the review. ... Gillette Co. shifted creative for its Duracell battery brand in North America to Acme Idea Co., Norwalk, Conn., from Omnicom's BBDO, New York. BBDO will retain all other support services for the brand in North America. A Duracell spokeswoman said a campaign will break later this year. ... AARP named Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, to be its agency, after a review. Spending is expected to be about $25 million for print, radio and TV, with an expanded effort focused on African-Americans. GMMB, Washington, was the incumbent. ... Actor Adam Carolla, well-known for his work on MTV's "Love Line" and Comedy Central's "The Man Show," is set to become the voice of Burger King in a series of TV commercials from Interpublic's Deutsch, Los Angeles, and New York. The spots will break later this month on national TV to promote the fast-feeder's value menu.

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